roasted green beans with bagna cauda

Thank you.

Sometimes I am reminded again of the goodness of people. These past four days? I’m madly, swoonily in love with people. Humanity? As Lucy likes to say, “You’re pretty cool.”

We launched A Fund for Jennie early Monday morning. By the same time on Tuesday, we already had $7800 in the Paypal account. By today, it was up to $17,500. And that doesn’t take into account the nearly 100 auctions going on right now, on blogs across the world. The money promised in those auctions means we’re creating a wonderful cushion for Jennie.

By the way, the top bid on our private dinner party for six is $800. $800! We are so honored. Do you want to bid more? You have until Monday.

Here are only some of the auctions going on for A Fund for Jennie. (You can see the complete list here at Bloggers Without Borders.)


Ilke is offering to shop for food photography props for you and send them to your home.

Kerrygold is offering a year’s worth of butter and cheese.

Brooke is offering a Visioning Workshop, to help you get clear on what actions need to be taken to achieve your goals.

Lucini Italia is offering one of every one of their products — olive oil, vinegars, tomato sauces, chickpea farinata, and other delectables.

Alyssa, who is a registered dietician with celiac, is offering a month of her services, including a personalized health assessment, customized meal plans, Skype sessions, and email support.

Chicago Metallic is offering a huge basket full of their bakeware.

Sean is offering six incredible bottles of wine worth $600 for a $50 donation.

Pam is offering a cooking class for six.

And in an incredible effort via Twitter, Mike Lewicki gathered 50 cookbooks and 2 cooking magazine subscriptions for one lucky winner.

There are even gluten-free auctions:

Elizabeth is offering to make and ship gluten-free shortbread to the first 25 people who donate and leave comments on her site.

Britt is offering a giant basket of gluten-free goodies and will make you any baked good on her site.

Jean is offering to send you everything necessary to make her fabulous gluten-free sourdough bread if you make a donation through her site.

And again, there are many, many more auctions going on around the world. Please check this page for fabulous offers.


You might notice that I used one verb here, over and over: offer. That’s what this has felt like in the last few days. A giant communal offering.

What moves me most is not the amount of money we have raised (we can do more, though!) but the kindness that has spread like wildfire across the internet. People have been having important conversations, connecting with each other, and reaching out.

David Leite, one of my favorite people in the world, wrote this incredibly poignant and vulnerable piece in the face of Jennie’s loss. In it, he wrote:

“My sorrow is most palpable when I realize I make so little time for the people in my life. I’m constantly chained to my desk, to this god-forsaken computer. “Tomorrow” is my mantra. Just ask The One, who eats too many meals alone, sits by himself in the living room at night reading, goes to gallery shows and plays and musicals with friends. All because I’m working. Always working. A few friends have fallen away, I know, but I’m too preoccupied to feel the emptiness left by them….I know I must wring dry every moment of time I spend with those I love. I must push back from my desk at 6:00 p.m. and make dinner for The One. I must refuse to work on the weekends. I must slow down. I have Jennie–a woman I don’t even know–to thank for that realization.”

Thank you, David, for putting into words what so many people have felt after hearing of the loss of Mikey. It’s not just Jennie we’re mourning for. Instead, it could be the slap in the face that people need to wake up and stop spending so much time working and so little time doing nothing with the people they love.

I adore my husband and daughter. I cannot say it often enough. And I feel like we do a pretty great job sometimes of appreciating each other and living in the present. But we are busy and traveling too much and our daughter seems to grow two inches every time I turn around. We could do more. And less.

Tonight, David wrote on Twitter: “Keeping my Perillo Promise: Tomorrow The One & I r taking a day trip. I think we all should make a #PerilloPromise.”

If nothing else this weekend  — even if you don’t have money to donate; even if you don’t want to donate — make yourself a promise this weekend to slow down, enjoy your family, laugh with your friends, dance your ass off without feeling self-conscious. And really be here.

Around here, we’re going to start calling that a Perillo Promise. (Or, as Lucy says, Pelillo!)

What else do we have?


ROASTED GREEN BEANS WITH BAGNA CAUDA, adapted from Good Food to Share: Recipes for Entertaining with Family & Friends

Sara Kate Gillingham-Ryan has an infectious laugh, a bright smile, and a wicked sense of humor. She also comes from an illustrious food family. She runs Apartment Therapy: The Kitchn, one of my favorite places to check in for ideas about food. And she has a new book out with a title I just love: Good Food to Share.

How could we not like this book?

This recipe is only slightly adapted from Sara Kate’s original. The bagna cauda takes about 5 minutes to make but is slithery and addictive. It will last you all week, as it did for us. Salmon, people. And chicken. Put this on salmon and chicken as well.

Sara Kate has you use fresh green beans for dipping. Of course that is a fantastic idea. But I’ve been playing with roasting unexpected vegetables to make crunchy healthy bites. (By the way, try beet green chips instead of kale chips.) Roasted green beans have a good crisp chew and the green taste beneath it. We like it.

An addition, Sara Kate is offering a wonderfully generous prize for her auction: she will help you plan, shop, and cook a meal for someone you love, along with a copy of her book. Go. Go bid.

1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed
6 tablespoons olive oil
kosher salt and cracked black pepper
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 large cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
6-8 anchovy fillets
¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon minced fresh Italian parsley
grated zest and juice of ½ lemon

Preheat the oven to 425°.

Toss the green beans with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil. Spread them out on a baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper. Roast until the beans are crisp but not burnt, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt the remaining olive oil and the butter in a small saucepan. When the mixture is hot but not yet boiling, add the garlic. Remove the pan from heat. Add the anchovies and stir them with the back of a fork, mashing them until they begin to dissolve. Add the smoked paprika. Set the saucepan on medium-low heat and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes.

Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the parsley, lemon zest, and lemon juice. If you wish, you can finish the sauce with an immersion blender for an even appearance.

Dip the roasted green beans into the warm bagna cauda. Enjoy.

Serves 4.

29 comments on “roasted green beans with bagna cauda

  1. Kathryn

    What a fabulous recipe; I love the idea of roasting green beans. I have never thought of it before but it makes perfect sense.

    Thank you so much for all the work that you and others have put in to #afundforjennie. It’s been a remarkable effort.

  2. Ilke

    You are right. We realize this very late in the game sometimes, and have this guilt carry around with us. Sometimes, another person’s grief becomes a slap in the face. But I noticed only for a while. We forget after a while until the next tradegy comes around.
    Hope this will stay with us and change the way we live.

  3. Caneel

    I’m doing that very thing – we are taking the girls to a natural spring pool to swim tomorrow and look at the fish with goggles on. My oldest has been begging us to go all summer. We were in and out of town and camps all summer. School started this week, but tomorrow we are going. And we’re going to enjoy it, and make memories. 🙂 Life is too short, and this tragedy has been such a rocking reminder for all of us.

  4. Tara

    I love it – a Perillo Promise. This tragedy has definitely been a wake-up call for so many, and I’d like to think that one positive consequence will be masses of people working to live more intentionally, in the moment, with the ones they love. It’s something I’ve been embracing since hearing of Mikey’s death, and I’m going to continue working on it. Case in point: I am taking tomorrow off to attend the American Folk Festival with my family, where we will dance and eat ice cream and support artists doing what they love. I can’t think of anything more important to do with my day.

  5. Tamara Mitchell

    Thank you for helping Jennie and spreading the word. It’s been almost ten years since I lost my own Mikey to a sudden heart attack. We had sluggish dial-up internet at the time, probably AOL, and condolences came the old fashioned way, mostly by mail. I remember opening the mailbox and discovering a colorful contingent of Hallmark envelopes, and thinking, briefly, “but it’s not my birthday”.

    To see the way that the internet and social media has changed the way we do everything, including grieving, which is no easy road, is pretty amazing. I really hope that people will continue to support her past the initial shock and awe stage. That’s when she will really need it the most.

    A year ago I won the spa gift certificate sponsored by Greek Gods yogurts that you gave away (thanks again). Then a few weeks later I was diagnosed with breast cancer. So I am looking forward to finally getting that spa day now that my treatment is nearly complete. (Caught early via routine mammogram, prognosis good). Trust me, I know all about the life is short, what are you waiting for, way of life.

    I can’t wait to try the green beans – I love them roasted until they are black and wrinkly/ugly.

  6. Jessica

    Beautiful post – thank you for everything you are doing to support Jennie and her girls, and for reminding us of what is really important.

  7. Michal

    Recipe question: should I blanch the beans first? Won’t they be bitter if I put them straight in the oven?

  8. Motherof3Angels

    I love the recipe but can you substitute anything for the butter? I m dairy-free as well as gluten free.

  9. Tiffiney Cowan

    I stumbled onto your site when you posted the pie party and then the corn dog recipe. It was such great timing for me as a mom of a very picky eater who has some issue with gluten (not sure yet exactly to what degree). She and I made the pie together and loved it so much that we made 5 more over the course of several weeks. Then, I got the idea that I could use the dough from the recipe and make a shepherd’s pie – which was delicious. Then, I made several quiches with the same dough from the pie party post. Yum! So great to get a few satisfying, gluten-free dinner options under my belt.

    The corn dogs too were a hit. So much so that when I found a SUPER sale on the Applegate farms jumbo dogs I bought 6 packages, made a huge batch of the corn dog batter and cooked them all up – they’re now in my freeze for handy, quick meals over the course of these hectic “school’s-in” months.

    On my husband’s birthday in August I turned your Molassess cupcakes into a cake – poured the entire batter into my deep, heart-shaped cake pan. It took twice as long to cook, but was an absolute delight to eat!

    I’ve also used your whole grain muffin recipe to create a raspberry loaf – poured the entire batter into my stoneware loaf pan. It’s been a great breakfast option for me and my family. Last night I used the whole grain muffin recipe and dumped in a bunch of blueberries, poured it into my loaf pan and topped the entire thing with raw coconut shavings that I’d tossed in cinnamon sugar. (I put a aluminum foil tent over the top to keep the coconut from buring.) It’s by far the best loaf I’ve made with this recipe.

    Thank you for all you do to help us who are new to the gluten free world find our way a little less painfully. You’ve made a difference in the life of my family and my mother’s heart is deeply grateful to you!!!

  10. Janelle

    I can’t wait to try this recipe! I have a bushel of beans in my garden right now plus smoked paprika is by far my favorite spice. I use it with roasted potatoes and it lights them up.

    Thank you for your work for Jennie. I just started my auction this week and am hoping to send more money for the fund too. Humanity is indeed amazing.

  11. Judi

    Okay, you have officially made my heart weep with your posts regarding Jennie. I had read about her loss and sadness elsewhere but when I read your words my heart just collapsed. Thank you for your tenderness and creativity in relating to us how these events have affected you and your family.
    We truly are all connected in so many ways.

  12. LibertyLondonGirl

    Hey there

    I came to your blog through a (nice) Tweet about yr post on the trolls. Then I saw the photo of the beans above, vibrant with colour and joy. I just wanted to say: if I took just one photo as gloriously beautiful as yours, then I would be a very, very happy woman. LLGxx

    PS I’ll probably be excoriated for saying this, but I have a pretty popular blog, but only a troll comment maybe one a month…what is it about American readers who feel the need to weigh in? (My readership is mainly UK right now, altho it changes.) Nasty Twitter comments are nearly always American. I;m at a loss to understand this, as some of my most cherished readers are American. Anyway, just a thing I was thinking. The most important thing to understand, is that it isn’t you, it’s ALWAYS about them. ALWAYS their need to pour vile, judge people, cover their own inadequacies by inventing some for you.x

  13. newmommy_from_Seattle

    I came across your site yesterday, and felt so inspired I made your shortbread and your corndogs! – thank you for the amazing recipes. You made me feel like I was a kitchen genius! (in reality it is you the genius in the kitchen :)) I will be trying lots of your recipe and am so excited for them!!!

    Reading on, I came across your post above about judgmental crazy people writing nasty stuff leaving us sane people wonder why would anybody do anything like that..Your post provided me with some realization as to my somewhat recent story.

    Months ago, I received a hate letter from my former nanny whom we parted with on so we thought good terms in a very civil manner and after mutual agreement. Her letter was hateful and disgusting with regard to just about everything, my husband, my infant son, myself, my marriage, my future, my son’s future..all of it was so scary I reported her for harrasment to the police and the nanny agency. – this whole situation left me wondering who the hell does stuff like this? Who writes things like that? Who doesn’t have anything better to do than to think and write these things? Well your trolls and my former nanny do – they are the kind of people.. So miserable in their lives that they need to project their unhappiness onto others to make themselves feel better because they couldn’t stand the fact that others are happy with their lives.

    I believe in karma and believe carrying hatefull feelings is only bad for myself – so I don’t hate, I breath in and let go 🙂

    Thank you for your amazing recipes, great reading, and for being yourself!

    1. shauna

      Wow, I’m so sorry to hear about that letter. What a shock that must have been! But your description of why people do things like this seems completely accurate to me. Karma. I agree. Enjoy the corndogs!

      1. newmommy_from_Seattle

        Thanks, Shauna. The corndogs turned out beautifully and taste amazing. My husband wanted me to try them with bacon pineapple sausages 🙂 and loved them too.

        I have a couple of questions for you, I would like to try the soft pretzels but have no clue where to get flex and chai seeds.. would PCC have those??

        Also, I emailed you but the auto reply suggested posting here – I have a few GF recipes for dumplings if you would be interested in trying (cream cheese strawberry dumplings; potato meat stuffed dumplings; puffed rice dumplings; and potato gnocchi).


        1. shauna

          PCC has flax and chia, plus psyllium husk powder, which we have started using too. PCC has everything! And how sweet of you to offer your recipes. we’re a little backlogged right now, but soon!

  14. Barbara

    Mean people suck and yet sometimes it seems like the whole world is full of them. I’m planning a blog to combine my birth activism with my soap making (craftivism) and appreciate the heads up regarding what I most certainly will be in for. Meanwhile, I’ve got to hop off to attend to the pre-baking of my pizza crusts!

    -Barbara (who loves Velveeta)

  15. Je Ray

    Pls don’t ever change. I enjoyed you lovely post, even when I cringed at the sad parts. I don’t know why there are trolls but I’m glad they’re out-numbered by the beautiful people, such as yourself.

  16. Dominick

    Those green beans with bagna cauda look delicious, I am definitely going to make those. I am also so sorry to hear people will say such rude things, It makes me mad. In my school we worked on spoken word poems. They are poems where you express your feelings about something, good or bad. I did mine on Celiac and such other problems in my life that make a big, big difference. Once I read it outloud, I felt great. Whenever you have a problem don’t keep it inside you, where it will dig deeper and deeper, making you feel terrible. If you ever feel sad about something certain write about it, when I wrote my poem it made me feel so good inside. That I’d like to keep writing poems and reciting them, I loved that certain feeling, It really helps.

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